If you want to build a strong financial portfolio, property investment makes sense – but before you take the plunge, there's a lot to learn. Often, investors miss the fine print on body corporate fees and move forward with property investment before they understand who is responsible for what. They can be a massive additional expense, especially when you're purchasing the property as an investment.
I'm Keith Jacobs from Brisbane City Pest Control, and with over a decade of experience in the industry, I know how many investors fall foul of Body Corporate responsibilities when it comes to pest control. So, let me talk you through your responsibilities.
Body Corporate Fees Defined
Body Corporate fees are a necessary evil – they fund the BC to maintain and manage properties to the highest standards. It essentially covers the cost of maintaining the common areas on behalf of the unit owners within a building or complex.
Fees vary wildly and can run from as low as a couple hundred dollars a month to thousands. The rates are generally based on the size of the property and the communal responsibilities. If you are purchasing an apartment, villa, or townhouse, you will likely be part of a body corporate and pay fees. Some duplexes are also part of a Body Corp.
What Body Corporate Fees Cover
You can expect your BC fees to cover common area maintenance, repairs, shared utilities, and building insurance. Gardeners' fees come from the BC fees, as would the cost of maintaining lifts or lobby areas, repairs to gates or light fittings in communal areas.
Some of that money will also form a sinking fund, an emergency fund for major, urgent repairs that exceed the repairs fund.
When it comes to Body Corporate fees, pest control is one of the main elements. What many potential investors or buyers don't realise is that the Body Corporate fee for pest control typically only covers the communal areas. If your tenant has a wasp's nest on the balcony or they have an insect infestation, where does the responsibility for pest control lie?
The owner is responsible for dealing with individual tenant pest control issues. So, if your tenant has a nest or there is an infestation, the cost will fall on your shoulders.
However, with communal pest control, Queensland has legislation outlining the BC's responsibilities for the communal pest inspections and prevention required. For individual lots, the responsibility lies with the owner to rectify the issue in a timely manner.
The best way to avoid any surprises is to read through the documents with a fine-tooth comb and know what the body corporate fees cover and what is your responsibility.
About the author Keith Jacobs, Brisbane City Pest Control
Keith Jacobs is fully licensed pest management professional with over a decade’s experience diagnosing risks for property investors and owners and is an expert in the planning and execution of pest management strategies for both homeowners and commercial operators. Keith is a valued contributor, not only for pest management insights but also a successful trades businessman.